Yes, another external hard drive question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by haremite, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. haremite, Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018

    haremite macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    Because I'm a bit neurotic in general, which leads me to over-research and over-think stuff sometimes, my head is spinning a bit trying to decide which external hard drive to purchase for my mid-2010 MacBook Pro 15 inch. This will be my first external hard drive.

    Anyhow, after reading numerous threads, reviews on various sites about Seagates and WDs, I am very concerned about the many posts pointing out that the internal USB connector thingy on the externals come loose, rendering them unusable. Also, how often these devices fail, in general.

    I have seen very few mentions/reviews of OWC, Glyph and G Technology external HD anywhere. So I'm wondering, are these any better than Seagate or WD? Are their connectors more solid? I only want a 1TB external. Yes, I know that they may all break eventually, but until then. Also, I only want one that is already formatted for a Mac, as my tech skills are not adequate enough to start formatting stuff.

    Thanks for your help and patience!
  2. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    I've never had connector trouble with a drive. I've had a loose connector on an enclosure, but it was a $8 bargain basement USB-to-SATA junker enclosure, and I got what I paid for.

    I wouldn't worry about it unless you expect to be plugging and unplugging the unit frequently (like, daily or more). If that's the case, I'd pay a little extra for a top quality USB enclosure and stick a drive into it. If you are NOT constantly plugging and unplugging the external unit, why would you worry about it? and since you're connecting to a mid 2010 USB 2.0 laptop, pretty much anything is going to work. If it were me, I might be inclined to get a USB 3.0 capable enclosure with UASP so that it will continue to be useful if/when you upgrade the computer, but it's certainly not essential.

    As for the drive, drives are pretty much a commodity these days, flip a coin. If you're concerned about drive failure, buy two and back up one to the other periodically.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 11, 2018 ---
    After re-reading the original post, I see I missed one item: about preformatting. Formatting a drive is trivially simple with Disk Utility, and I don't recommend making that a condition of purchase, unless you have a wad of extra cash that you don't know what to do with. You don't need any tech skills to format an external drive, and if you get into Disk Utility and are still unsure, I'm sure that someone here can help.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I only want one that is already formatted for a Mac, as my tech skills are not adequate enough to start formatting stuff."

    You are going to [possibly] pay more for a Mac-formatted drive.
    Just do it yourself.

    1-minute tutorial on how to "format" a drive for the Mac:
    1. Connect drive to Mac and turn it on
    2. You may get a msg "this disk is unreadable". We'll fix that.
    3. Open Disk Utility
    4. Select the drive in Disk Utility's list on the left. Make sure you choose THE RIGHT ONE.
    5. Click the "erase" button
    6. Give it any name you want.
    7. Choose "Mac OS extended with journaling enabled"
    8. DU will initialize (erase, it means the same) the disk.
    9. For good measure, click the icon for the newly-formatted drive and then click "first aid". DU will examine the drive and give you its report.
    10. Quit DU. You're done. The drive is ready to use.
  4. LS417 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    In general, yes enclosures from OWC, Glyph, and G-tech will be of better quality than the typical plastic Seagate or WD external. I personally use Glyph because of their warranty and support, although I've luckily never had to rely on it since the drives have been rock solid. I'm not sure about OWC or G-tech but the Glyph's come formatted for Mac out of the box.
  5. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    Looking at Glyph drive prices, I'd guess you pay an almost 2x premium over separate enclosure and drive. That's perfectly fine if the warranty, preformatting, and support is worth it to you; I've done similar things myself. Just go into it knowing what you're paying for, which is largely (not entirely) intangibles rather than component quality per se. There are only a couple HDD makers left worldwide, and I don't imagine that there are too many choices in USB-to-SATA interface chips either.
  6. haremite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    That is a very good drive, and I believe it is also 7200 rpm, which not all external drives are. Hang on to that USB-C cable, as you won't need it now but it will come in handy in the future when you eventually purchase a machine which uses USB-C.
  8. LS417 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2009
    I mainly use their higher end drives, I’ve been a big fan of their m.2 ssd’s, the raids in particular. Great performance without the huge cost of going nvme. Also built much tougher than my previous Samsung t3 that cracked after being dropped.

    Also their HDD raids because they don’t require any drivers or software to manage, everything is done through dipswitches on the back of the device.

    They are definitely at a premium compared to buying separate Drives + enclosures, more so when compared to the low end single disk and usb enclosure but so are all the other guys except maybe your typical plastic Seagate or wd.

    For the same reason I buy Apple instead of building hackintosh, I appreciate the build quality, and having one point of contact for dealing with any issues instead of tracking down who I bought what from. Dealing with 100’s of TB’s in externals can get hairy, they’ve kept it simple for me.

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